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Saturday, April 20, 2024

UC Regents vote for 9.6 percent fee increase

In a UC Regents meeting on July 14, the regents voted to increase tuition by 9.6 percent in order to offset the recent $650 million cut to University of California funding from the state.  

The 9.6 percent increase, along with the 8 percent increase already signed into law for this fall, will mean that the total tuition will increase by about $1,890-from $10,302 to $12,192. This does not include individual campus student fees.

At UC Davis, the fee increase coupled with UC Davis student fees will mean that students will be paying approximately $16,094.86.

The 14-4 vote came after an ongoing discussion about how to keep the UC system afloat during the current state budget crisis. While many regents said they did not want to increase tuition, they felt that this option was the best choice for the UC system.

“Faced with enormous financial cuts forced on us by political leaders, we only have a handful of options open to us, and all are horrible options. As much as I hate voting for this increase, I hate even more letting this institution slide into mediocrity,” said Regent Bonny Reiss.

The four regents who voted ‘no’ on the increase were Eddie Island, George Marcus, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Alfredo Mireles, UC student regent.

“The biggest threat to our democracy is income inequality, the loss of the middle class. And here we are once again, putting the nail in the coffin of the middle class,” Newsom said.

The UC system could face another $100 million cut in funding later in the year if state revenues do not reach the expected projections.

Faced with these budget issues, regents also discussed long-term options at the meeting. Regents are considering raising fees for international students, increasing the amount of online classes offered and consolidating and eliminating programs at the different UC campuses. In addition, the UC system is working on ways to expand financial aid.

However, many students have come out to express their feelings about the new fee increases.

“This is a sad day for the University of California,” said Claudia Magana, University of California Student Association president and senior at UC Santa Cruz, in a statement. “Once again, the regents have refused to consider alternative options, and chosen the easy route of placing the entire burden on students and their families.”

HANNAH STRUMWASSER can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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